Advent Devotions

Friday, December 24

For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

I remember I was about eight or nine years old, and our family had just moved to northeast Ohio from Connecticut. It was summertime, and my mom, my brother, and I had joined my dad at the annual gathering of The United Methodist Church pastors in the East Ohio Annual Conference at a retreat center called Lakeside.

One afternoon, we were running up and down the docks feeding the birds with leftover bread from lunch, when an older Korean woman stopped us and asked us our names. I said, “I’m Joseph, he’s Bennet.” She continued, “What’s your last name?” “Kim,” I answered. “What’s your father’s name? What’s your grandfather’s name?”

I later found out that she was on the welcoming committee of new pastors and their families to the regional area, and she was hoping to identify us in order to deliver the welcome basket. At the time, though, I was struck by the fact that I did not know, and could not articulate, my father’s name and my grandfather’s name.

Names are powerful—to identify, to describe, to lift up, and to set apart. We often use these words from Isaiah as references to and names for Jesus: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. I wonder what other names of Jesus speak to you, tell you who Jesus is and what his presence means.

Closing Practice

Take some time today thinking about Jesus’s many names and to find one that speaks to you. Invite that Jesus to journey with you through the coming year.

Copyright 2021 Abingdon Press • Used by permission.